It’s a new year in the housing market, and for most home owners it begins quite nicely. After all, 2013 saw a record rebound in residential equity as net holdings “soared $2.2 trillion from the third quarter of 2012 to the third quarter of this year,” according to new data collected by the Federal Reserve and reported by the LA Times’ Kenneth R. Harney.
For those who don’t yet own their home, but are looking to buy, the picture is a bit more layered. 2014 starts with a piece of good news as the Federal Housing Finance Agency has decided to postpone a proposed hike in upfront fees that many people would pay for a home loan (per Les Christie of CNN Money). However, there is some not-so-great news in that interest rates have crept up, increasing the cost of borrowing (E. Scott Reckerd reports in the LA Times). Rates rise and fall, of course, so this shouldn’t worry anyone too much. The general consensus among economists is that, in this still-recovering economy, rates are likely to rise at least slightly in 2014 — but aren’t likely to shoot through the roof. Taken on balance, this would indicate that buyers should remain active, ie. you should be out looking for that home and lock in your mortgage rate sooner rather than later. Bankrate.com’s Polyana da Costa has some excellent advice for 2014 mortgage borrowers, you can read it here.
Of course, there’s still the issue of inventory — or lack of it. According to the respected John Burns Real Estate Consulting, and reported by LA Curbed among others, the number of new homes put up for sale in Southern California is the lowest it’s been in 20 years (!)
Maybe that’s why folks are simply purchasing homes and leveling them, leading to a mini construction-boom in some LA neighborhoods as buyers tear down modest-sized houses to make way for bigger ones, as reported by Andrew Khouri in the LA Times.
That might sound extreme, but it’s hardly surprising. Low inventory is one thing; what this market really lacks are options, given that too few existing homes are designed for how today’s buyers want to live. That’s why we’re so excited to present a great opportunity for home ownership that will be available very soon: NELA Union modern homes in Glassell Park. Set within beautifully landscaped grounds that include a community garden and dog run, these residences are being built with open floor plans that can be fully customized in the onsite design lab. With private two-car garages and sustainable elements like tankless water heaters, high efficiency furnaces and radiant roof barriers, NELA Union will not only meet but exceed Title 24 and California green building guidelines. Best of all these stylish, energy-smart homes will be offered at a cost comparable to paying rent. Learn more and sign up on our interest list at www.nelaunion.com.
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